5 Warning Signs From Swollen Ankles

20 February, 2019
Do you have swollen ankles? Learn about what your body might be telling you in this article.

Do you have constantly swollen ankles and aren’t really sure what they’re a result of? Pay attention, because there are specific health problems that swollen ankles can reveal. 

There are many ways to relieve the swelling. You can rest with your legs elevated, soak your feet in warm salt water, or drink anti-inflammatory teas like dandelion tea.

But if the problem doesn’t go away, you should talk to a specialist to see what’s causing the swelling. This is a sure way to solve the issue and see whether or not your body is sending you a warning sign.

1. Weak blood vessels

blood vessel

The most common cause of swollen ankles and feet is poor circulation. For older people, this may be because their blood vessels are weakening or because of a more serious problem.

For younger people, it can happen because of a congenital problem or other things like:

  • Incorrect sitting posture.
  • Spending many hours standing.
  • Sleeping in the wrong position.

If any of these things is the cause, simply changing your habits could be enough to solve the problem.

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But it never hurts to talk to your doctor, because this could also be an early sign of venous insufficiency. Vascular diseases in the lower extremities are classified as either arterial or venous:

  • Arterial diseases may come from a local defect in the arteries, like aneurysms. They can also happen as a result of other diseases like arteriosclerosis.
  • Venous diseases include varicose veins and venous thromboses.

2. Swollen ankles might be a warning sign for blood clots

If the swelling occurs in only one leg, it might be a sign of a blood clot blocking the veins.

This swelling may come along with:

  • Pain.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Changes in skin color, such as darkening or pallor.

Regardless, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis.

3. Exercises done incorrectly

exercising and losing weight don't always go together

If you exercise on your own, you run the risk of doing it improperly. Just to be sure, check for any swelling in your ankles.

But don’t confuse general swelling with muscular inflammation.

  • The second one is different because it usually comes along with pain you feel on the inside, rather than superficially.
  • Muscular inflammation is more common in a single limb. If it happens in both, you should ask yourself if you’re exercising incorrectly or using the wrong footwear.

4. Insufficient rest

Insufficient rest can also cause some swelling due to fluid retention.

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In this case, it’s a sign of not sleeping well or having an improper diet.

  • To relieve this problem, reduce your consumption of sodium, sugar, and flour.
  • Rest 15 minutes a day with your legs up and get a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep per day.

5. Reaction to medication

swollen ankles could be a warning sign of a bad reaction to medication

If you’re taking a new medication, you might be having a negative reaction. Most drugs have numerous side effects, including swelling.

  • It’s best to see your doctor. In some cases, it’s a side effect you’ll just have to put up. But in others, it’s a sign that you need a different dose or a switch to a different medication.

Natural remedies to relieve swollen ankles

Luckily, there are some natural remedies that can help relieve swelling and make it less inconvenient.

Chamomile has tons of health benefits. You can prepare chamomile tea or use a chamomile essential oil to lightly massage the area.


  • 2 tablespoons of chamomile flowers (20 g)
  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)


  • Heat the water. Once it starts to boil, add the chamomile.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and wait for it to cool.
  • Strain and pour over the legs in small amounts.
  • Massage from the feet to the knees with circular motions.

Don’t forget – if you have swollen ankles and they don’t go away with these tips, it might be a symptom of a more serious health problem.

The best remedy is to see your doctor.